Love to God overflows in our actions
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine...“Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. Daniel 1:6-15
God’s call to every believer is to have a wholehearted commitment. From our text, Daniel, together with his friends was taken as captives in Babylon. Daniel was determined to live out a life of devotion to God. His deep love for the Lord made him unwavering in not defiling himself with the king’s food and wine. He requested from the king’s attendant to let him follow his own dietary practice instead of the king’s direction. When you choose to dedicate yourself to God it means choosing to love, worship, and follow only Him. You are declaring that your life will follow only what God is directing you to do. It is important that you show in your actions and decisions that God is the focus of your life. Daniel showed this when he and his friends were facing several testing in their lives while serving the king of Babylon. Daniel’s life and his friends were marked by total dependence on God. They did not show rebellious spirit in obeying God’s will for their lives. The apostle Paul demonstrated the same resolve when he declared his own loyalty only to God. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). When we are grateful to God because of the life He gave us through Jesus’ death on the cross, we will be motivated to live our lives committed to Him. Jesus is the center of our focus and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving. As you grow in your love for God you will find yourself standing firm against persecution and strong in the convictions God gave you. The Holy Spirit living in you is the One guiding you. You discover His will and develop in wisdom as you search His word. It is only when you are drawn closer to God that you will be motivated to act on His will. It is by having daily prayer and meditation on God’s Word that will keep you focused in Christ.
Noel De Guzman